I love Election Day -- the day I get to say my political piece in the polling booth.
I like the whole experience: standing in line with friends and neighbors waiting to fill out my ballot, getting my little "I Voted" sticker afterwards, and sometimes I even like the cookies that poll place volunteers set out for us to take as we head back to our cars.
What I don’t like is the election advertising.
Our newspapers do a good job of covering local candidates. Voter pamphlets do a good job of explaining the various propositions on the ballot. Some state and national candidates come to our rural county for face-to-face events with voters and we get to ask them questions. And there are televised debates, and phone-in radio talk shows where we can ask the candidates questions.
So there are many opportunities to educate myself on who is running, their record and their promises.
Election advertising is superfluous. It is propaganda, which I neither want nor need.
But I certainly get it….stuffed in my mailbox, filling radio and TV airwaves. And maybe worst of all, coming across my telephone line.
We just returned home after a few days near the ocean, and found nine (count them, nine!) recorded political advertisements on our voice mail.
Call #1 was from California Common Cause urging me to vote "Yes" on a specific proposition.
Call #2 was from the National Rifle Association urging me to vote for a specific candidate, who I will not be voting for.
Call #3 was from the National Rifle Association urging me to vote against the candidate I plan to vote for.
Call #4 was from the President of Americans for Tax Reform urging me to vote for a specific candidate.
Call #5 was from a man who said he was Dave Jones, a consumer advocate, urging me to vote Yes for a specific proposition.
Call #6 was from Americans for Tax Reform urging a Yes vote for a specific candidate.
Call #7 was a long message telling me all the things one national party has done wrong and all the things another national party has done right.
Call#8 was from the president of the Professional Peace Officers Association urging that I vote for a specific candidate for attorney general.
Call#9 simply said: "This is a political canvas call and we may call again."
Oh, Great! And we’re on a don’t-call list.
After going through and deleting all these messages, and realizing that we might get some more before polls open tomorrow (Oh, how I hope no one calls during the World Series game. We’re rooting for our local team, the San Francisco Giants, and hope that today’s game is the one that gives them the Series. Can you imagine my anger if I get one of these recorded messages during the game!?)
Anyway, after going through all these messages, I am so tempted to say, Blah, Blah, Blah.
But instead of venting any more, let me just encourage you to vote intelligently. And may those we vote into office do an effective job of cleaning up the national economic and international messes we find ourselves in. May they work together toward real solutions.